Ansible Cheat Sheet with Real-Time Use Cases - Part 1๐Ÿš€

Ansible Cheat Sheet with Real-Time Use Cases - Part 1๐Ÿš€


4 min read


Ansible is a powerful open-source automation tool that simplifies the configuration management, application deployment, and task automation processes. This cheat sheet provides a quick reference to commonly used Ansible commands and concepts, accompanied by real-time use cases to illustrate their practical application.

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Ansible Cheat Sheet

1. Inventory Management

  • Command:ansible-inventory

  • Use Case: List all hosts in the inventory.

  •     ansible-inventory --list

2. Ad-hoc Commands

  • Command:ansible

  • Use Case: Run a command on all hosts in the inventory.

  •     ansible all -m command -a "uptime"

3. Playbooks

  • Command:ansible-playbook

  • Use Case: Execute a playbook.

  •     ansible-playbook deploy-app.yaml

4. Variables

  • Command:{{ variable_name }}

  • Use Case: Use a variable in a playbook.

  •     tasks:
          - name: Ensure package is installed
              name: "{{ package_name }}"
              state: present

5. Loops

  • Command:with_items

  • Use Case: Iterate over a list in a playbook.

  •     tasks:
          - name: Create users
              name: "{{ item }}"
              state: present
              - user1
              - user2

6. Conditionals

  • Command:when

  • Use Case: Add a condition to a task.

  •     tasks:
          - name: Restart Apache if config file changes
              name: apache2
              state: restarted
            when: "'apache.conf' in ansible.builtin.changed_files"

7. Roles

  • Command:ansible-galaxy

  • Use Case: Create a new role.

  •     ansible-galaxy init my-role

8. Vault

  • Command:ansible-vault

  • Use Case: Encrypt sensitive data.

  •     ansible-vault encrypt secrets.yaml

Real-Time Use Cases

  1. Deploying a Web Application:

    • Use Ansible to deploy a web application on multiple servers, ensuring consistency and scalability.
  2. Configuring Monitoring Agents:

    • Automate the installation and configuration of monitoring agents on servers using Ansible playbooks.
  3. Scaling Infrastructure:

    • Dynamically scale your infrastructure by adding or removing servers based on demand using Ansible.
  4. Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD):

    • Integrate Ansible into your CI/CD pipeline to automate deployment tasks and ensure efficient release management.
  5. Database Configuration:

    • Use Ansible to automate the setup and configuration of databases, ensuring a standardized environment.
  6. Security Patching:

    • Implement Ansible to automate the process of applying security patches across multiple servers simultaneously.

9. Dynamic Inventory

  • Command:ansible-inventory --graph

  • Use Case: Display the inventory structure in a graph.

  •     ansible-inventory --graph

10. Handlers

  • Command:handlers

  • Use Case: Define a handler to restart a service only if a task triggers it.

  •     handlers:
          - name: restart apache
              name: apache2
              state: restarted

11. Tags

  • Command:--tags and --skip-tags

  • Use Case: Run specific tasks or skip others based on tags.

  •     ansible-playbook deploy-app.yaml --tags "install,config"

12. Ansible Vault Encryption and Decryption

  • Command:ansible-vault encrypt_string

  • Use Case: Encrypt sensitive strings for use in playbooks.

  •     ansible-vault encrypt_string 'secret_password' --name 'db_password'

13. Custom Modules

  • Command:ansible-doc -l | grep your_module

  • Use Case: Develop and use custom Ansible modules.

  •     ansible-doc -l | grep custom_module

14. Jinja2 Templating

  • Command:{{ variable | filter }}

  • Use Case: Use Jinja2 filters for dynamic content.

  •     tasks:
          - name: Set dynamic variable
              dynamic_value: "{{ base_value | upper }}"

15. Notify and Wait for Completion

  • Command:async and poll

  • Use Case: Execute tasks asynchronously and wait for their completion.

  •     tasks:
          - name: Long-running task
            command: /path/to/
            async: 300
            poll: 0
            register: job_result
          - name: Wait for completion
              jid: "{{ job_result.ansible_job_id }}"
            until: job_result.finished
            retries: 30

Real-Time Use Cases (Continued)

  1. Automated Backup Strategy:

    • Utilize Ansible to create an automated backup strategy, including regular backups and cleanup tasks.
  2. Multi-Environment Deployment:

    • Manage deployments across multiple environments (e.g., development, staging, production) using dynamic inventories and environment-specific playbooks.
  3. Infrastructure Monitoring Setup:

    • Automate the deployment of monitoring tools and configurations across servers to ensure real-time visibility into infrastructure health.
  4. Custom Module for Application-specific Tasks:

    • Develop a custom Ansible module to handle application-specific tasks, providing flexibility in automation.
  5. Rolling Updates:

    • Implement rolling updates for services, ensuring zero downtime during updates by using Ansible's serial and max_fail_percentage features.
  6. Git Repository Management:

    • Automate tasks related to Git repositories, such as cloning, pulling updates, and managing branches.

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